30 Women to Watch

By Heather Stewart, Rachel Madison and Devin Felix

May 8, 2014

Though she’s only been Alliance Health’s CTO for eight months, Neumarker has already added a layer of project management for optimization and increased satisfaction among her employees significantly. She has also promoted from within and given non-technologists the opportunity to build a career in technology by playing the intermediary between business and development.

Neumarker also recently helped to lead her company through a merger by integrating two different technology teams, which had both culturally and technically different approaches. “It’s an exciting time to be moving into because all technologists love building new platforms, and that’s what we have before us at Alliance Health,” she says.

“Being a leader is 80 percent about people and 20 percent about work. If you do the things that nurture and support the people who work for you, the work takes care of itself.”

Becca Taylor Rydman, Co-founder, Lilac Clothing and Tummy Trimmer Denim

Becca Rydman loves knowing that she helps women become more confident in who they are. As the co-owner of Lilac Clothing and Tummy Trimmer Denim, she works to create flattering styles designed to fit women in the bodies they currently have.

“Oftentimes we forget that we are unique and beautiful exactly as we are,” she says. “I know I am doing my part to boost the self-confidence of women around the world when I hear them say, ‘Thank you for helping me to feel beautiful again.’”

In the last few years, Rydman has grown her business tremendously. Her products are currently found in Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Costco and nearly 400 boutiques worldwide. Knowing her customers—especially because she’s a lot like them—has helped her along the way.

“I understand the emotional experience of looking in the mirror and either feeling great or being greatly disappointed,” she says. “This empathetic connection with the customer has been crucial to our success as a company.”

“Take advice from those who are in a position you want to be in. That goes for all categories of life, not just in work.”

Pat K. Schneider, Chief Operating Officer, Twinlab Corporation

Although Pat Schneider has only been a part of Twinlab for a short time, she has long been passionate about the nutritional supplement industry. Her accomplishments within this space are vast—she has led existing business units to success, opened new markets and turned around failing companies for some of the leading Fortune 500 organizations in the health and wellness space such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Herbalife.

Schneider is achievement-oriented and thrives in an environment where she can inspire others and see the tangible value of her efforts. She strives to lead by example and is relentless in her beliefs.

“Being a change agent in an organization is difficult and you cannot do it alone,” she says. “You need to constantly evangelize your beliefs and find those in the organization who will be your supporters. These allies will also strengthen you when you hit obstacles. Don’t surround yourself with naysayers, doubters and the down-trodden in the organization—those are the ones you need to inspire and lift up.”

“Never give up. Develop an internal support network that shares your vision to help you achieve your goals.”

Nikki J. Thon, Partner and Utah Tax Department Head, Eide Bailly LLP

Nikki Thon has always had a healthy curiosity and the tenacity to achieve her goals. That’s why it’s no surprise she has led Eide Bailly through many changes and is prepared for the future.

Thon believes the lack of a succession plan is the No. 1 issue facing her profession, so in 2007, she and another partner joined forces to put agreements into place, develop a plan that included a transition process, and benchmarked for future leadership and growth strategies. In 2012, her firm merged with regional accounting and advisory firm Eide Bailly LLP, and Thon led that transition with ease due to her foresight.

Thon is also the firm’s Utah liaison for its First Focus initiative, which nurtures a firm-wide culture where women are as likely to succeed as men. “By creating an environment and culture committed to women leaders, we are empowering women and changing the face of leadership within the business,” she says. “This is crucial to add diversity and a fresh perspective to the industry.”

“You will be in a great foot race when you are running alongside someone who pushes you outside of your comfort zone and opens your horizon.”

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